The Iditarod — a long-distance sled dog race — begins the first Saturday of March in Anchorage, Alaska. I have been able to teach technology skills, research skills, geography and history through teachings about the race. Students get excited when they find out that the race includes dogs! I ask all teachers to try to include some aspect of the Iditarod in their curriculum during these months. Depending on the grade and class composition, I create projects for the students that include all of the elements of "the last great race."
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The Silver Fox Audiobook Club is an ongoing book club that meets every Friday morning to listen to and discuss audiobooks of interest to its participants, clients of a local senior care center. Upon completing a book, the club meets at the library to watch the movie companion to the book and discuss the differences between the book and the film.
At the University of Dayton, the alumni association and libraries partner on programs that reach out to younger alumni without asking for much. This includes a fundraiser for a pizza break for students and a note-writing drive that brings smiles. UD is a Catholic, Marianist institution that is known for its sense of community, nice people, and everyone holding a door open for the people behind them. These programs align with the community spirit of the institution.
One program we repeat every semester in the University of Dayton Roesch Library — the Club Roesch VIP contest — is my favorite for three reasons. One, the idea initially came from a student who thought library "super users" should be rewarded. Two, it helps promote our social media presence and drives followers and engagement. And three, the prize is the best prize ever, according to students, and it’s completely free for us to provide. What is it? A study room during finals week.
By now, most people have heard of Minecraft. You may have even played it, and your young patrons certainly have. It's amazing how long this game has remained popular in a world where the shelf life of technology is so short. This long-term popularity is in part due to Minecraft's flexibity. It is a building game, sure, but it's also a game that can be used to build other games.